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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Doggie Couture
Anastasia Torres-Gil, Warren '83

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It all started with a hoodie, two Louis Vuitton purse straps and a scruffy dog named Coco. Miniature dogs in fanciful clothing may seem reserved solely for reality show stars and socialites, but not for Anastasia Torres-Gil, Warren '83.

Torres-Gil launched her online dog couture business, Myfavoritecouture.com, with a loveable dog named Coco as her muse. After practicing law for 25 years, along with surviving a brush with cancer, she decided to take a risk and began creating canine couture.

From seersucker jackets with Tory Burch buttons, to Prada vests trimmed in faux fur and rhinestones, the couture speaks for itself. It also serves a philanthropic purpose. The dog models featured on Myfavoritecouture.com are all available for adoption in Santa Cruz, Calif. shelters and a percentage of couture purchases help support no-kill shelters. Additionally, Torres-Gil takes pride in the fact that Myfavoritecouture.com is a green company, repurposing 90 percent of the actual garments. With accessories starting at $45 and clothing and bridal fashions ranging from $95 to $145, she has found that the luxury pet market is recession proof and continues to grow.

Her specialty canine line of couture has also garnered media attention—Torres-Gil and Coco were featured on the Spanish-language variety show Sábado Gigante and have appeared on a pilot preview episode of a Project Runway-type show for dogs.

It was her experiences at UC San Diego, both on and off campus, that had the greatest effect on Torres-Gil's approach to life after college. Majoring in English and Literature, with a minor in Spanish Literature, prompted her to think critically, and ultimately prepared her for law, business and various job opportunities. "I remember feeling nurtured and being dazzled by the variety of courses, activities, groups and clubs to choose from."

Though the transition from law to fashion may seem like a stretch, Torres-Gil has been able to utilize all her skills and continues to thrive in both her local community of artists and beyond. She plans to expand Myfavoritecouture.com by increasing revenues as well as maintaining a strong presence in the market while juggling various roles in the company, from seamstress to sales representative. Looking ahead, Torres-Gil remains positive noting, "This is such an exciting time for entrepreneurs. Really, the potential is limitless."

—Alex Morales